Monday, March 30, 2009

North Korean Launch Success Would Lead to Missile Sales

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SEOUL -- The long-range missile North Korea is expected to test as soon as Saturday could reach as far as the U.S. and parts of western Europe. But U.S. military officials and other analysts say the development is dangerous not because North Korea is likely to use such missiles but because it will probably sell them to other countries, such as Iran.

A successful launch of a long-range missile, after two failures, would validate three decades of investment and work by North Korea. It could also boost one of the country's few major sources of income -- selling weapons to other countries.

The only clues about the launch's trajectory are North Korea's documents, filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization and maritime authorities, for two areas where debris from the launch is likely to fall. The first is in the sea between North Korea and Japan; the second is in the Pacific Ocean, east of Japan.

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